At Psychology Today Blogs, Elizabeth A. Segal explores tribalism. After explaining that humans lived for centuries in small, homogeneous groups because geography and (lack of) means of traveling and mixing with others mandated it, we evolved with a predisposition to identifying with our “tribe.” But there is downside. Here’s a nugget (emphasis added):
We are built to be tribal. But sometimes that tribalism goes too far. The worst type of tribalism is groups aligned to destroy other groups, such as through ethnic cleansing and genocide. We have heard the word tribalism used a lot today in reference to our politics. Today in our political world we have “bad tribalism.” Bad tribalism is group identity that fosters bullying and scapegoating of others not like you. Bad tribalism joins people out of anger, jealousy, and spite, not for collective well-being. The unfortunate irony is that bad tribalism is easy to provoke, but not healthy to maintain. Staying angry is stressful, and large doses of stress is bad for our health.